What is Autism / Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

  • It occurs in the first three years of life
  • Children with autism show marked impairment in social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and limited and restricted interests and behaviour
  • It is a neurodevelopment disorder, and is NOT caused by bad parenting
  • Every child is unique in the way the condition manifests
  • There is ongoing uncertainty about the cause, treatment, intervention and prognosis within the condition
  • Statistics locally and worldwide vary. International statistics indicate that 1 in 68 children have autism.
  • Boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls
  • The cost of caring and providing for a child with autism is huge – the child in most cases requires 24 hour care. Many parents are unable to take their children into public spaces.       We at Action in Autism advocate that early educational intervention is the cornerstone to successful integration of people with autism into society.

Warning signs

  • Has no single words by sixteen months
  • Does not respond when his/her name is called
  • Does not babble or point by his/her first birthday
  • Does not put 2 words together by age 2
  • Avoids eye contact

Other indicators:

  • Does not play with toys appropriately
  • Does not seek out interaction with other children or adults
  • Engages in obsessive activities that are repetitive and compulsive
  • Does not display appropriate social facial expressions, or smiles and laughs inappropriately
  • Seems indifferent to other people and prefers to be alone
  • Is tactile defensive: will only eat certain foods or wear certain clothing
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